Month: August 2018

Making Sense of the World: Unit Studies

Two of my favorite homeschooling years occurred when I used KONOS as the basis of my curriculum. I heard one of the founders of KONOS speak at a homeschooling convention and loved the slogan she used to describe her perspective (which I’m probably not getting exactly right), “God put the wiggle in children, don’t take...

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It’s a Miserable Life

If you were unaware of the inaugural Summit on the Research and Teaching of Young Adult Literature that took place recently in Las Vegas, so was I. If you have pre-teenage and/or teenage children, you can’t afford to be. This morning’s Wall Street Journal features an article about the summit by author and journalism professor...

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I’m resenting always being the designated driver.

As a person who abstains from drinking (for reasons of self-discipline), I am often expected (usually by assumption or without asking) to be the driver for most events and parties with my family and friends. Does my personal decision not to drink bring with it the responsibility of serving others around me in this manner?...

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Bloody Beastly Behavior

I cringe whenever I recall the many instances my adolescent pranks and puerile pronouncements cast my parents down to the depths of hopeless gloom.  They had little excuse for optimism about the prospects of their first-born.  But seldom did the white heat of their anger flame more menacingly than when I dismissed myself as an...

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Cyrus, the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

I read Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet half a dozen times over the past week. It is a favorite of a seven-year-old granddaughter and she recommended it to her similarly aged cousin. To my surprise, his two-and-a-half-year-old sister enjoys listening to it as well though I wouldn’t have chosen it just for...

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Every Doctor Needs a Mama Bear

I have never been a helicopter mom. I don’t think my children are perfect (though they come pretty close). When they fought with friends, I didn’t assume that they were automatically innocent victims. My children learned how to cook, do the laundry and clean up after themselves at a young age. I have never called...

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Patty Hearst and Paul Manafort

I was raised with a respect for teachers, police, government – even the United Nations. Part of maturing was, sadly, recognizing that there were phenomenal teachers and incompetent ones; there were noble policemen and corrupt ones; principled statesmen and conniving politicians. As for the United Nations, well, maybe at some point it had a purpose,...

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My father is having an affair!

On a day in March, 2018, I found out that my father was having an affair. The identity of the woman at the time was unknown to myself, although I did suspect it was my aunt. It took me several months of fighting myself on what to do with the information, as I did not...

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Get a Whiff of Winning

I really hope that my children think of their childhood with the same sweet nostalgia that I do.  Whenever the Lapin family embarked upon a trip, it was usually with at least fifteen suitcases, all of which needed to be loaded into our van.  Though I could have done it myself quite quickly, we patiently...

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Up, Down and All Around: A Lesson in Prepositions and Life

It was a brilliant idea. I would introduce prepositional phrases to my children through a visit to the playground. They would have a great time going up the ladder, down the slide, through the tunnel and around the trees. Just about everything they did could be utilized for a fun and memorable grammar lesson. Or...

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